Council for Quality Growth President and CEO Michael Paris Testifies before the Senate Public-Private Partnership Study Committee

On Tuesday, August 20th, Council for Quality Growth’s President & CEO Michael Paris testified before the State Senate Public-Private Partnership Study Committee. The Study Committee is chaired by Senator Hunter Hill, and has been tasked with exploring the option of authorizing public-private partnerships in vertical construction,  as a tool that can be employed by the government to meet public needs at the local, county, and state level.

The Senate Public-Private Partnership Study Committee was formed by the passage of Senate Resolution 598 during the 2013 legislative session. According to the Senate Resolution, the Study Committee was formed because “there is a public need for timely acquisition, design, construction, improvement, renovation, expansion, equipping, maintenance, operation, implementation, and installation of public infrastructure and government facilities within this state that serve a public need and purpose and which do not result in debt obligations for the state.” To see the full text of S.R. 598, click here.

The Public-Private Partnership Study Committee is chaired by Senator Hunter Hill of Smyrna. While it is tasked with the responsibility of studying public-private partnerships more generally, it is examining this development option in light of Senate Bill 255, the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPFIA), which was introduced by Senator Hill in the 2013-2014 legislative season. The bill would amend Georgia law to allow for public agencies to engage with private-sector parties in public-private partnerships to meet current and future needs for government facilities and infrastructure. This would allow private firms to submit unsolicited proposals for projects that have been identified as a public need. To see the full text of Senate Bill 255, click here.

Michael Paris, the President and CEO of the Council for Quality Growth was asked to testify at Tuesday’s meeting of the Study Committee. In his testimony, he advocated for public-private partnerships by listing four key advantages to this development option:

  • Innovative financing options that private sector involvement presents;
  • Fewer costs for the public sector;
  • Faster results; and
  • Minimized risk due to the partnership between the government and the private sector.

He maintained that in this time of constrained resources, it is in our best interest to ensure that we do not constrain the options available to meet the needs facing state and local governments.

In an article about this Study Committee meeting, the Atlanta Business Chronicle quoted Michael as saying, “The TSPLOST experience last year really taught us a lesson in how we need to start thinking outside the box.” Click here to read the full article.

The next meeting of the Senate Public-Private Partnership Study Committee is scheduled for September 24th.